5 first-round mistakes the Steelers must avoid in the draft

Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Kenny Pickett #8 of the Pittsburgh Panthers. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Nakobe Dean (17) Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

With the first round of the NFL draft just around the corner, here are five mistakes the Steelers can’t afford to make in the draft.

The Steelers have a lot riding on the first round of this draft, as this is their first draft post Ben Roethlisberger. While the team has done a fair job of addressing most of their major needs in free agency, messing up their top pick in the draft would be a fatal mistake. This team needs an influx of young talent but missing on their top pick would be detrimental. Here are the five biggest mistakes the Steelers can’t make in the first round of the draft.

Steelers can’t draft Dean

While the team has more needs along their offense, there is a real argument that this team can and should use their top pick on a defender. The mid-first round is filled with good defensive prospects that would be hard to pass on if they fell to the Steelers. That said, one name, in particular, stands out as a name to avoid.

Nakobe Dean was a productive linebacker playing in a talented Georgia defense. While one could argue that landing a top off-ball linebacker is an underrated need, Dean isn’t the type of player the team should prioritize drafting. He is undersized and fast, but his style of play isn’t what the team needs given the state of their linebacker room.

While Dean is talented, he would join a linebacker room filled with similar styles of play. The team would be better suited targeting a bigger body at linebacker that can be more aggressive with their run stops and blitz through their gaps. Dean isn’t that, so the Steelers should prioritize other positions over Dean.